CULLOWHEE, N.C. – UNCG softball (27-7, 5-0) improved its winning-streak to 12 games by taking a doubleheader 12-2 (five innings) and 3-0 over Southern Conference opponent Western Carolina (8-16, 0-2) on Friday afternoon at Catamount Softball Complex. The Spartans’ offense was aided by four home runs on the day with two in each game.
UNCG scored first in game one in the third inning. Makenna Matthijs (Greenville, N.C./D.H. Conley) led off with a walk and scored on a fielding error by the left fielder on a single by Gabi Cubbage (Felton, Del./Lake Forest).
The Spartans broke the game open in the next inning with nine runs. Leadoff hitter Jasmine Palmer (Cander, N.C./ Florida State) was hit by a pitch and went to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Gontram (Wake Forest, N.C./Heritage). After a Becca Kale (Hudson, N.C./South Caldwell) hit that bounced off the third baseman, pinch-hitter Kayleigh Willis (Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox) dropped a RBI-single in between the third baseman and left fielder. Pinch-hitter Kendall McKinney (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) loaded the bases with a walk, and a two-out walk by Cubbage allowed Rachael McClaskey (Pine Hill, N.J./Overbrook) to jog home. Marisa Sholtes (Albany, N.Y./South Colonie Central) hit a double off the left center fence to knock in Matthijs and Alexis Overdiep (Apex, N.C./Apex). Stephanie Bryden (Orlando, Fla./East River) cleared the bases with a three-run homer to left center, her second of the year. After Palmer was hit by a pitch, Gontram then got her sixth homer of the season with a two-run shot to right field.
UNCG added two insurance runs in the last inning. Overdiep drew a leadoff walk and went to second base on a single up the middle by Matthijs. The bases were loaded on when Sholtes was plunked by a pitch. Palmer doubled to left center with two outs to score Matthijs and Sholtes.
Western Carolina scored its runs with a one-out solo-homer to center field in the fourth inning and on a fielding error the next inning.
Alicia Bazonski (Sheffield, Mass./Mount Everett) improved to 12-2 on the year. In four innings Bazonski gave up one run, four hits and one walk with two strikeouts. Hannah Stiltner (Mebane, N.C./ Eastern Alamance) finished the game in the circle and allowed one unearned run, one hit and one walk with a strikeout.
The Spartans had eight hits, each from a different batter. Bryden had three RBIs, and Sholtes, Gontram and Palmer all had two RBIs. Matthijs scored three times, and Sholtes and Palmer each had two runs.
After each team had a pair of hits through three innings in the second game, UNCG grabbed the lead in the fourth. With Bryden on base, Palmer hit her second homer of the season to right center with one out.
UNCG got its last run in the following inning. Sholtes hit her SoCon leading 9th homer of the year to left center with two outs.
Bryden (11-1) threw her fourth complete game of the year with a two-hit shutout. She walked two batters with seven strikeouts.
Matthijs was the only Spartan to rack up multiple hits, going 2-4 at the plate.
UNCG and Western Carolina will conclude the series on Saturday at 1 p.m.
-- UNCG –